Hurricane Ophelia heading towards Spain

HURRICANE: Ophelia heading towards Spain HURRICANE: Ophelia heading towards Spain NOAA

A HURRICANE is heading towards Spain this weekend but current reports suggest it will most likely remain off-shore.

Ophelia officially gained hurricane status on Wednesday evening, according to the American National Hurricane Center.

Its sustained wind speeds are 75 mph with higher gusts but the storm may still strengthen over the next two days.

Ophelia's projected path takes it close to Spain and Portugal but current forecasts suggest the storm will most likely remain offshore – although the path could still change.

The National Hurrican Center say, “It is important to realise that a tropical cyclone is not a point. Their effects can span many hundreds of miles from the centre. The area experiencing hurricane force (one-minute average wind speeds of at least 74 mph) and tropical storm force (one-minute average wind speeds of 39-73 mph) winds can extend well beyond the white areas shown enclosing the most likely track area of the centre.” 

Only two known hurricanes have hit the Iberian Peninsula — one in 1842 and the other Hurricane Vince in 2005.

After Ophelia moves past Spain it is forecast to hit the Irish coast on Monday but downgraded to an extra-tropical storm.

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